Need optical out on mobo to surround system, Asus B460 vs AsRock B450? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-08-2020, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Need optical out on mobo to surround system, Asus B460 vs AsRock B450?

Has to be mini-itx. My receiver doesn't have hdmi in so I'm left with using either the digital optical/coaxial or the av rca analog inputs. So, the Asus B460 has an spdif header and I can get a bracket for it and the Asus is in stock; the AsRock B450 has the optical out onboard but is not in stock and looks like when it comes back it's going to be more expensive. Which of these 2 motherboards do you think it best?
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-09-2020, 04:36 AM
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I think you answered your own question. The Asus is in stock and less expensive from what I gather so it seems like a no-brainer to me. For the purpose of a HTPC the difference is pretty much irrelevant. I personally have an ASRock Fatal1ty B450 mini-iTX gaming board in a Win 10 HTPC and it works fine. Asus also makes good boards so it's really a toss-up between them.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-09-2020, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
I think you answered your own question. The Asus is in stock and less expensive from what I gather so it seems like a no-brainer to me. For the purpose of a HTPC the difference is pretty much irrelevant. I personally have an ASRock Fatal1ty B450 mini-iTX gaming board in a Win 10 HTPC and it works fine. Asus also makes good boards so it's really a toss-up between them.
That's cool. How do you use your audio: the optical out, hdmi in or the rca outputs; do you run it thru a receiver or some other way? Putting that bracket on will take one of the 2 slots on my mini-itx so woul be limiting if I decided to add a graphics card later on; but yeah, it is a toss up, both seem like good boards. I don't know if any more are coming in stock as the new amd boards are due to roll out mid month.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-09-2020, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by alphacoyle View Post
That's cool. How do you use your audio: the optical out, hdmi in or the rca outputs; do you run it thru a receiver or some other way? Putting that bracket on will take one of the 2 slots on my mini-itx so woul be limiting if I decided to add a graphics card later on; but yeah, it is a toss up, both seem like good boards. I don't know if any more are coming in stock as the new amd boards are due to roll out mid month.
I only use HDMI to my preamp/processor. If your receiver can't handle HDMI then it's probably time to upgrade it. HDMI-capable receivers have been around for probably over a decade. If yours can't handle it then it's way out of date. Mini-ITX boards generally have only a single PCI-e X16 slot so I'm not sure how you're coming up with two of them, unless you are thinking of a dual slot graphics card that occupies two slots in your PC case. What exactly do you need the slot for if not for a graphics card? I know the ASRock has a back panel optical connector but I'm not sure about the Asus board.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-09-2020, 08:58 PM
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You could also use a headless Raspberry Pi with HiFiBerry DAC soundcard with a TOSLINK (HiFiBerry also has RCA cards) behind your surround sound system. Just control it with whatever smartphone you use.

Or just use this.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._hdmi_2_0.html

Last edited by Nobr8ks; 06-09-2020 at 09:07 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-11-2020, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I only use HDMI to my preamp/processor. If your receiver can't handle HDMI then it's probably time to upgrade it. HDMI-capable receivers have been around for probably over a decade. If yours can't handle it then it's way out of date. Mini-ITX boards generally have only a single PCI-e X16 slot so I'm not sure how you're coming up with two of them, unless you are thinking of a dual slot graphics card that occupies two slots in your PC case. What exactly do you need the slot for if not for a graphics card? I know the ASRock has a back panel optical connector but I'm not sure about the Asus board.
My receiver is the 5 disc kind, can't find them anymore. It's a Sony FX900W, was decent quality in it's day so be interesting to see how it processes the audio. I've been using the analog rca inputs coming from a used Dell Optiplex 3010 sff and it sounds pretty decent.
The Asus board also has a back panel optical connector, I've already got it and the 'board; and yes the dual slot for graphic card is what I was referring to. Right now the optical can go in the slot because I'm not adding a gpu, going to wait a bit on that, see how the ray tracing etc progresses. I can always stick that optical out somewhere else on the case, since it doesn't use a pci slot I could just drill a hole for it, or I see some gridwork for 80mm fans that it could attach to; the case has fans and venting everywhere so don't think I'd need that particular 80mm fan.
Well, now it's just a matter of putting it all together
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-13-2020, 10:50 AM
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Another option is an hdmi audio extractor, currently I'm using one like this (but different brand):
https://www.amazon.com/VeLLBox-Extra.../dp/B01CZM3NWM


Currently I have 2 stereo receivers with limited digital inputs, so I wanted something w/optical and coax out just for flexibility and it has worked great. I actually just ordered another model with [email protected]/HDR10 plus other bells and whistles:

https://www.amazon.com/Extractor-Ste.../dp/B07H9WV4C2


There are a ton of decent $20-40 options out there but make sure to double check the specs and reviews!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-13-2020, 11:12 AM
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Actually just realized, it's pretty common that TVs have an optical output which you could hookup to your receiver. I use both the optical out from the TV (linked to current input) and the extractor so I can listen to another input.
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